2019 Minimum Wage Increases Guide

On July 1st, minimum wage increases will go into effect in several jurisdictions across the country. The ever-changing landscape of the hospitality industry can be confusing and overwhelming - that’s why we’ve created a guide to help you navigate your state’s changes.



  • Alameda: $12.50 per hour

  • Berkeley: $15.59 per hour

  • Emeryville: $16.30 per hour

  • Fremont: $13.50 per hour

  • LA, City: $14.25 per hour

  • LA, County: $14.25 per hour

  • Malibu: $14.25 per hour

  • Milpitas: $15.00 per hour

  • Pasadena: $13.25 per hour for businesses with 25 or fewer employees; $14.25 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees

  • San Francisco: $15.59 per hour

  • San Leandro: $14.00 per hour

  • Santa Monica: $14.25 per hour for large businesses; $13.25 per hour for small businesses; $16.63 per hour for hotel workers


  • Washington: $14.00 per hour


  • Chicago: $13.00 per hour

  • Cook County: $12.00 per hour


  • Portland: $11.11 per hour


  • Montgomery County: $13.00 per hour for large employers; $12.50 per hour for mid-sized and small employers

New Jersey:

  • $10.00 per hour


  • Minneapolis: $10.00 per hour


  • Portland metro area: $12.50 per hour

  • Non-urban counties: $11.00 per hour

What Employers Can Do Now: 

Get Your Scheduling Down to a Science: Analyze your most crucial shifts and recognize the strongest members of your staff in order to strategically schedule your team (tools like Harri's TeamLive can help managers and operators with schedule alignment, labor costs, and budget).

Consider Adjusting Your Hours:  By tracking your stores’ sales patterns, you may gain valuable insights to determine the working hours that are most productive for your business. For example, if you frequently experience a spike in customers/sales around lunch Monday through Friday, but find there's a slump during evenings on the same days, you may want to consider closing earlier during the week and focusing your marketing efforts towards weekday lunch. (Pro Tip: Your POS weekly and monthly reports should be a great indicator of these trends.)

Take a Close Look at Menu Item Prices: This is a last-ditch but sometimes necessary effort to combat minimum wage increases. Analyze each menu item and break it down by cost (with the help of your culinary team), and consider comparing vendors. Know that you may lose some customers at the expense of your menu changes. If you decide to increase your menu prices, communicate to your guests that your business has done so in order to stay open, pay your employees fair wages, and continue to serve them!



It’s a well-known fact that more than 40% of new hires in the hospitality industry leave their jobs within 90 days, causing a genuine economic crisis for operators. To help tackle the problem, Harri has joined forces with hospitality communications and engagement specialists, EXP101, to sponsor the first meeting in London this month in support of EXP101’s ‘0-90’ initiative, designed to bring industry leaders together to face the issue head on.

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At the 90-minute meeting, 10 top-tier human resource experts from some of the country’s leading hospitality brands, heard from industry insiders on how incredibly important it is to engage Gen Z in hospitality, stating that it’s time to reboot our approach to recruitment and on-boarding. It’s about making hospitality a career of choice, killing the idea of basic inductions and creating brand ambassadors amongst new, young recruits to ensure they want to stay. And it starts with the managers on the ground.

The aim of 0-90 is to equip recruiters and managers with the tools they need to find the right new hires for their business and then intelligently track the on-boarding and engagement process to ensure new employees are excited about their prospects. By adopting this approach, those who move into new roles should have a real desire to succeed with that employer and in that career. It’s a much-needed, new take for the industry, one which turns the recruitment process on its head and puts the retention factor in the employee’s hands.

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Roy Walker, Associate Director at Harri, said:

“Recruitment has changed over the past 10 years. Gone are the days when a candidate showcases their CV and asks for an opportunity. The world of hiring has been turned on its head and hospitality employers must now demonstrate why a candidate should choose them. Recruiting the correct mentality is crucial to reducing the 0-90-day turnover. Recruitment is not a manager’s primary role – so they need support. Our research identified that 60% of leavers stated their main source of dissatisfaction was the rota, where there were sudden changes to shifts or additions to pre-agreed hours. At a cost of £1,000 to hire team members – and as much as £5,000 for managers – this is a real economic crisis for operators, which requires addressing.”

The EXP101 team agrees and hopes the discussions will produce a new live dashboard that operators can access without great expense or extensive set-up to combine the power of online recruitment platforms with digital measurement capabilities, in order for success to be tracked.

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Using its online recruitment platform, Harri has launched their own form of Career Story pages, where employers can highlight their value proposition to prospective candidates, starting that brand ambassador process early and creating a mind-set where new hires want to stay. The Harri Hire app, now in the hands of thousands of restaurant and hotel managers, supports the recruitment process with consumer-style tech to engage users and ensure the right behaviours are followed during on-boarding and beyond to secure new hires and reduce staff turnover.

EXP101 founders Kieron Bailey and Chris Fletcher commented:

“It’s all about collaboration between these tech solutions to produce a single hub to aid in recruitment and retention. The 0-90 initiative is designed to help young people find a rewarding career in an industry we love and where they should want to stay. Our aim is to ensure it is easy for operators to attract new recruits in the places we know they spend their time – which is online – and then to harness the power of digital to assist managers in successfully creating new brand advocates in a business everyone wants to work. A great deal is spoken about ensuring operators give the customer a great experience, however, that starts with the employee experience. We want to elevate hospitality to a place where work sells itself. Great people make great brands.”

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The 0-90 challenge is scheduled to be complete in 90 days. A follow-up session will look at the new approach and the strategy behind it in July, before the third meeting in August launches the tech solution into test phase.The event was captured on film by Vidleos and is shown below.

For more information about Harri, please visit www.harri.com/uk

NRA 2019: The 5 Biggest Takeaways

Team Harri landed last week in Chicago and was in full force at the 100th National Restaurant Association Show. After days of meeting with hundreds of operators, here are the 5 biggest takeaways from this years conference:

  1. Retaining talent continues to be the primary concern of operators. With a majority of the industry narrative pointing to engagement as the key to preventing turnover, it’s very clear that a single dimensional solution, such as engagement, to solve a multidimensional problem such as turnover, is an incomplete perspective.  With wage inflation pressure adding fuel to the labor problem fire, operators are turning to lose-lose decisions in order to counteract rising labor costs and maintain economic equilibrium. According to the 2019 Wage Inflation Survey by Harri, 45% of operators experienced labor costs rise from 3-9%. In response to these changes, operators are making changes to labor and business operations ranging from reducing employee hours, raising menu prices, cutting jobs, and closing locations.  What’s compelling is the correlation between those decisions and a spike in turnover events (35%) that are occuring in their wake. Moreover, with 71% of respondents raising menu prices, the industry experienced a rise in average check values by 4.2% but a 2.1% drop in traffic (Bloomberg Intelligence). This means that operators (emphasis on casual dining and QSR) are losing elasticity in their pricing and will no longer be able to lean on rising prices to simply counteract increases in labor costs.  They need a sustainable solution that allows them to be strategic in managing the economics of the business, particularly in all facets of labor control.

  2. Unit-level adoption of employee facing technology continues to be an up-hill battle. Finding a technology platform that’s built from the ground up, mobile friendly, highly intuitive, and meet the expectations of a multi-generational workforce is a rare find. The Workforce OS by Harri was built with this entirely in mind. With the introduction of the Harri Live, operators can grant frontline managers the ability to access live sales and labor data, full scheduling management, employee requests, communications, live compliance alerts and team data in one place, on the go. The application also allows for cross-location employee data, which is useful to have up to date information at the unit level.

  3. Gaining a better hold on the candidate experience to attract and hire the right talent has felt like mission impossible for the industry.  Whilst there is certainly an emphasis on winning the War for Talent in today’s labor market conditions (the process of driving greater volumes of candidate acquisition in a highly competitive market), there’s simultaneously a Race for Talent (getting highly qualified candidates from point A ‘applying’ to point B ‘hired and on the job’ as quickly as possible).  Understanding and optimizing each stage of the candidate lifecycle is achieved in combination of enacting talent acquisition best practices and deploying device agnostic technology that generates speed, efficiency, and positive candidate experiences. As recently demonstrated at HR in Hospitality, Harri’s partnership with CAVA has resulted in a 107% improvement in their average time to hire and has attributed to their success in opening numerous locations in complex geographies and significantly improving overall retention rates.

  4. “People related challenges are just par for the course in the hospitality industry, everyone is dealing with the same issues and there isn’t a clear way to address them.”  We hear this almost everywhere we go given that so much focus remains on the inflation of raw materials, optimizing inventory management, and delivery's impact to the bottom line. The acceptance of the ‘status quo’ plagues the industry and leads to costly mistakes.  Recent examples like Steak n’ Shake, who made a 7.7 Million dollar error by misclassifying 286 store managers best exemplifies this conclusion. Specifically, Steak n’ Shake classified managers as exempt from overtime pay, then required those managers to work 50 hours or more a week in order to perform non managerial tasks while restaurants were understaffed.  This primary example only bolsters the need for tools such as Harri’s Smart Scheduling system. A system that is integrated to a biometrically controlled time and attendance environment and combines seamless demand forecasting, activity based manning matrices and streamlined schedule distribution to create an optimized sales forecast and help organizations maintain compliance to avoid costly errors like Steak n’ Shake.

  5. The power of one. The days of building, managing, and engaging teams through fragmented, one-off technologies are no longer an option given today’s operating environment.  The industry needs to deeply consider the value of consolidating employee facing technologies in the pursuit of driving the retention, engagement, and satisfaction of their employees.  According to TDn2K’s People Report, there is a direct correlation between brands that have the best metrics in overall sales, traffic, and intent to return and the aforementioned people related KPIs.  Aside from embracing the concept of driving business performance through employee performance, there's a tremendous opportunity to aggregate all employee related data under a single system ( from both pre and post hire events) that deliver insights to drive business performance and sales, optimize hiring practices and costs, decrease turnover rates, drive people related compliance and risk mitigation, and optimize labor costs.  Only a platform that integrates all of those points and interactions of the employee lifecycle can achieve such a powerful dynamic.

Harri Expands Workforce OS, Introduction of Harri Live App and Smart Scheduling

Industry leading hospitality employee technology platform rapidly expands mobile and predictive intelligence functionality in response to challenging labor market conditions

Harri, the leading workplace management solution for restaurants and hotels, today announced new innovations that elevate the capabilities of its core labor management platform, Workforce OS, which helps hospitality business build, manage, and engage their teams.  Harri Live, the most effective mobile app offered to frontline managers, headlines these new expansions amongst next-generation enhancements to Harri’s suite of products including Scheduling, Learning Management, Analytics & Reporting and Integrations.


“After announcing the introduction of the Workforce OS nearly a year ago, we’ve taken monumental strides to deliver on our core mission; to build the deepest, richest and smartest technology platform available to strategically manage our industry’s greatest asset,” said Luke Fryer, Founder and CEO of Harri. “The days of building, managing, and engaging teams through fragmented, one-off technologies are no longer an option given today’s operating environment. We’re immensely proud to announce these amazing milestones and are invigorated by the continuous innovation that’s deeply rooted in our customer-centric values.”

According to Harri’s Data Intelligence team, sub-90 day turnover represents nearly $70 billion of wasted labor costs a year to the restaurant industry. When considering the impact of those turnover events to guest experience and sales, the net losses are even greater. The opportunity to help restaurants regain the employee retention initiative starts with recognizing that 65% of employees leave in the first 90 days due to scheduling dissatisfaction. Given such a compelling trend, Harri has released the first in a series of powerful new scheduling and employee development tools to address the industry's greatest economic opportunity.

Designed to support restaurant partners, Harri’s most recent innovations include:

  • Harri Live: The most powerful mobile application on the market granting frontline managers the ability to access live sales and labor data, full scheduling management, employee requests, communications, live compliance alerts and team data in one place, on the go.

  • Smart Scheduling System: This next generation scheduling technology saves managers time in building and optimizing schedules by combining seamless demand forecasting, activity based manning matrices and streamlined schedule distribution. An optimized sales forecast and schedule for a 50 employee full-service operation can now be created and published in a handful of minutes instead of hours.  

  • Learning Management System: To be progressively introduced over 2019, this LMS will be the first in market to intelligently respond to both an employees’ stage in the employment lifecycle as well as their individual employment needs. The first module - Workplace Harassment & Discrimination Training - directly addresses training needs specific to sexual harassment and related local regulation.

The aforementioned products work in conjunction with Harri’s existing Workforce OS platform, connecting over 250 top hospitality brands with the talent, technology, and insights needed to help build, manage and engage talent. With more than 30 modules, Workforce OS provides solutions for talent acquisition, employer branding, applicant tracking, scheduling, communications, compliance, analytics, and more.



Mental Health Awareness Week gives us an important opportunity to stop, take time out and be mindful of the issues and indeed stigma’s surrounding so many people in our industry struggling with mental health problems.

The latest research by industry charity, Hospitality Action, found an alarming 80% of our workforce found their job to be stressful some or most of the time. Over half (51%) said their work was stressful all of the time. The charity believes the research reveals a ticking time-bomb beneath the UK hospitality industry, regarded by those in it as a fast, unrelenting and sometimes unforgiving place to be. The charity also cited that workers encountered pressure, adrenaline peaks and crashes, plus long hours, which it warns could make for a dangerous cocktail.

Talk to any operator and they’ll say the pressure on front, back and head office teams to deliver a consistent service and experience every day is hugely stressful and no easy feat. However, delivering a great experience should never be at the detriment of those who make it happen and it definitely shouldn’t be bad for anyone’s health. Stress = depression = anxiety, which are three of the key issues our industry faces.


Employers can go a long way towards creating an open and positive culture, one which ensures employees don’t struggle in silence and feel supported. We’re seeing some great examples set by the likes of Caravan Restaurants, Rick Stein and several other operators, who are striving to make the modern hospitality setting a more open, inclusive and inviting place to work.

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Elsa De Jager, Head of People at Caravan, says: “The company actively champions mutual respect, inclusivity and diversity across front and back-of-house.” The operator believes creating a culture of teamwork and support among employees is key to supporting mental health. Elsa continues: “How can brands expect their team to excel at work, if they don’t feel good about themselves in their role and in their place in the business?


Similarly, Rick Stein is another operator focused on supporting and nurturing his team. The company has dedicated part of its employee experience to the concept that “small things make a difference”. It offers staff accommodation when it can, rewards for long service and social events. The brand also actively promotes its Employee Assistance Programme provided by Hospitality Action, with a 24-hour helpline and resources to promote health and wellbeing within the industry.

Increasingly, employers are recognising the overwhelming pressures a career in hospitality can bring, and are actively seeking to balance those pressures with a more flexible and inclusive approach to work, whilst demonstrating empathy, understanding and providing access to help and advice.

Here are our top tips to creating a happier and more rewarding workplace:

  • At the start of each shift, operators should be asking managers to take a moment to connect with each member of staff to ask how they’re doing. Consider a pre-shift meal to get everyone talking and bonding. Operators need to take a top-down approach to leadership and ensure everyone gets a chance to check in.

  • Foster a warm, friendly environment and promote an open-door policy for employees to voice concerns with the reassurance of full confidentiality. Hospitality can be a stormy environment, which is part of its highs and lows. However, teams should know there’s a safe, supportive harbour when they need it.

  • Employees like to know when they’re doing a good job and operators should be loud and proud of each person’s achievements – on and off-shift. Owners and managers who take the time to acknowledge and say thank you for an employees contribution to the business, will be the ones reaping the benefits of a happy, contented workforce.